The New Foundations Of Evolution

Author: Jan Sapp
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199889171
Size: 75.51 MB
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This is the story of a profound revolution in the way biologists explore life's history, understand its evolutionary processes, and reveal its diversity. It is about life's smallest entities, deepest diversity, and greatest cellular biomass: the microbiosphere. Jan Sapp introduces us to a new field of evolutionary biology and a new brand of molecular evolutionists who descend to the foundations of evolution on Earth to explore the origins of the genetic system and the primary life forms from which all others have emerged. In so doing, he examines-from Lamarck to the present-the means of pursuing the evolution of complexity, and of depicting the greatest differences among organisms. The New Foundations of Evolution takes us into a world that classical evolutionists could never have imagined: a deep phylogeny based on three domains of life and multiple kingdoms, and created by mechanisms very unlike those considered by Darwin and his followers. Evolution by leaps seems to occur regularly in the microbial world where molecular evolutionists have shown the inheritance of acquired genes and genomes are major modes of evolutionary innovation. Revisiting the history of microbiology for the first time from the perspective of evolutionary biology, Sapp shows why classical Darwinian conceptions centering on questions of the origin of species were forged without a microbial foundation, why classical microbiologists considered it impossible to know the course of evolution, and classical molecular biologists considered the evolution of the molecular genetic system to be beyond understanding. In telling this stirring story of scientific iconoclasm, this book elucidates how the new evolutionary biology arose, what methods and assumptions underpin it, and the fiery controversies that continue to shape biologists' understanding of the foundations of evolution today.

The Dynamics And Evolution Of Social Systems

Author: Juergen Kluever
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401595704
Size: 41.81 MB
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When I started with this book several years ago I originally intended to write an introduction to mathematical systems theory for social scientists. Yet the more I thought about systems theory on the one side and theoretical sociology on the other the more I became convinced that the classical mathematical tools are not very well suited for the problems of sociology. Then I became acquainted with the researches on complex systems by the Santa Fe Institute and in particular with cellular automata, Boolean networks and genetic algorithms. These mathematically very simple but extremely efficient tools are, in my opinion, very well appropriate for modeling social dynamics. Therefore I tried to reformulate several classical problems of theoretical sociology in terms of these formal systems and outline new possibilities for a mathematical sociology which is able to join immediately on the great traditions of theoretical sociology. The result is this book; whether I succeeded with it is of course up to the readers. As the readers will perceive, the book could not have been written by me alone but only by the joint labors of the computer group at the Interdisciplinary Center of Research in Higher Education at the University of Essen. The members of the group, Christina Stoica, Jom Schmidt and Ralph Kier, are named in several subchapters as co-authors. Yet even more important than their contributions to this book were the permanent discussions with them and their patience with my new and very speculative ideas. Many thanks.

Foundations Of Social Evolution

Author: Steven A. Frank
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691059341
Size: 35.57 MB
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This is a masterly theoretical treatment of one of the central problems in evolutionary biology, the evolution of social cooperation and conflict. Steven Frank tackles the problem with a highly original combination of approaches: game theory, classical models of natural selection, quantitative genetics, and kin selection. He unites these with the best of economic thought: a clear theory of model formation and comparative statics, the development of simple methods for analyzing complex problems, and notions of information and rationality. Using this unique, multidisciplinary approach, Frank makes major advances in understanding the foundations of social evolution. Frank begins by developing the three measures of value used in biology--marginal value, reproductive value, and kin selection. He then combines these measures into a coherent framework, providing the first unified analysis of social evolution in its full ecological and demographic context. Frank also extends the theory of kin selection by showing that relatedness has two distinct meanings. The first is a measure of information about social partners, with close affinity to theories of correlated equilibrium and Bayesian rationality in economic game theory. The second is a measure of the fidelity by which characters are transmitted to future generations--an extended notion of heritability. Throughout, Frank illustrates his methods with many examples, including a complete reformulation of the theory of sex allocation. The book also provides a unique "how-to" guide for constructing models of social behavior. It is essential reading for evolutionary biologists and for economists, mathematicians, and others interested in natural selection.

How Biology Shapes Philosophy

Author: David Livingstone Smith
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316982580
Size: 59.82 MB
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How Biology Shapes Philosophy is a seminal contribution to the emerging field of biophilosophy. It brings together work by philosophers who draw on biology to address traditional and not so traditional philosophical questions and concerns. Thirteen essays by leading figures in the field explore the biological dimensions of ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, gender, semantics, rationality, representation, and consciousness, as well as the misappropriation of biology by philosophers, allowing the reader to critically interrogate the relevance of biology for philosophy. Both rigorous and accessible, the essays illuminate philosophy and help us to acquire a deeper understanding of the human condition. This volume will be of interest to philosophers, biologists, social scientists, and other readers with an interest in bringing science and the humanities together.

Making Sense Of Evolution

Author: Massimo Pigliucci
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226668355
Size: 64.58 MB
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Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition. Spotlighting these conceptual difficulties and presenting alternate theoretical interpretations that alleviate this incompatibility, Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan intertwine scientific and philosophical analysis to produce a coherent picture of evolutionary biology. Innovative and controversial, Making Sense of Evolution encourages further development of the Modern Synthesis and outlines what might be necessary for the continued refinement of this evolving field.

Foundations Of Evolutionary Psychology

Author: Charles Crawford
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135704147
Size: 38.87 MB
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Evolutionary psychology is concerned with the adaptive problems early humans faced in ancestral human environments, the nature of the psychological mechanisms natural selection shaped to deal with those ancient problems, and the ability of the resulting evolved psychological mechanisms to deal with the problems people face in the modern world. Evolutionary psychology is currently advancing our understanding of altruism, moral behavior, family violence, sexual aggression, warfare, aesthetics, the nature of language, and gender differences in mate choice and perception. It is helping us understand the relationships between cognitive science, developmental psychology, behavior genetics, personality, and social psychology. Foundations of Evolutionary Psychology provides an up-to-date review of the ideas, issues, and applications of contemporary evolutionary psychology. It is suitable for senior undergraduates, first year graduate students, or professionals who wish to become conversant with the major issues currently shaping the emergence of this dynamic new field. It will be interesting to psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, economists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, and anyone interested in using new developments in the theory of evolution to gain new insights into human behavior.

Evolution And Progress In Democracies

Author: Johann Götschl
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401715041
Size: 35.66 MB
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In a ground-breaking series of articles, one of them written by a Nobel Laureate, this volume demonstrates the evolutionary dynamic and the transformation of today's democratic societies into scientific-democratic societies. It highlights the progress of modeling individual and societal evaluation by neo-Bayesian utility theory. It shows how social learning and collective opinion formation work, and how democracies cope with randomness caused by randomizers. Nonlinear `evolution equations' and serial stochastic matrices of evolutionary game theory allow us to optimally compute possible serial evolutionary solutions of societal conflicts. But in democracies progress can be defined as any positive, gradual, innovative and creative change of culturally used, transmitted and stored mentifacts (models, theories), sociofacts (customs, opinions), artifacts and technifacts, within and across generations. The most important changes are caused, besides randomness, by conflict solutions and their realizations by citizens who follow democratic laws. These laws correspond to the extended Pareto principle, a supreme, socioethical democratic rule. According to this principle, progress is any increase in the individual and collective welfare which is achieved during any evolutionary progress. Central to evolutionary modeling is the criterion of the empirical realization of computed solutions. Applied to serial conflict solutions (decisions), evolutionary trajectories are formed; they become the most influential causal attractors of the channeling of societal evolution. Democratic constitutions, legal systems etc., store all advantageous, present and past, adaptive, competitive, cooperative and collective solutions and their rules; they have been accepted by majority votes. Societal laws are codes of statutes (default or statistical rules), and they serve to optimally solve societal conflicts, in analogy to game theoretical models or to statistical decision theory. Such solutions become necessary when we face harmful or advantageous random events always lurking at the edge of societal and external chaos. The evolutionary theory of societal evolution in democracies presents a new type of stochastic theory; it is based on default rules and stresses realization. The rules represent the change of our democracies into information, science and technology-based societies; they will revolutionize social sciences, especially economics. Their methods have already found their way into neural brain physiology and research into intelligence. In this book, neural activity and the creativity of human thinking are no longer regarded as linear-deductive. Only evolutive nonlinear thinking can include multiple causal choices by many individuals and the risks of internal and external randomness; this serves the increasing welfare of all individuals and society as a whole. Evolution and Progress in Democracies is relevant for social scientists, economists, evolution theorists, statisticians, philosophers, philosophers of science, and interdisciplinary researchers.

Sewall Wright And Evolutionary Biology

Author: William B. Provine
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226684734
Size: 39.88 MB
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"Provine's thorough and thoroughly admirable examination of Wright's life and influence, which is accompanied by a very useful collection of Wright's papers on evolution, is the best we have for any recent figure in evolutionary biology."—Joe Felsenstein, Nature "In Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology . . . Provine has produced an intellectual biography which serves to chart in considerable detail both the life and work of one man and the history of evolutionary theory in the middle half of this century. Provine is admirably suited to his task. . . . The resulting book is clearly a labour of love which will be of great interest to those who have a mature interest in the history of evolutionary theory."-John Durant, ;ITimes Higher Education Supplement;X

Darwinian Populations And Natural Selection

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191567787
Size: 52.65 MB
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In 1859 Darwin described a deceptively simple mechanism that he called "natural selection," a combination of variation, inheritance, and reproductive success. He argued that this mechanism was the key to explaining the most puzzling features of the natural world, and science and philosophy were changed forever as a result. The exact nature of the Darwinian process has been controversial ever since, however. Godfrey-Smith draws on new developments in biology, philosophy of science, and other fields to give a new analysis and extension of Darwin's idea. The central concept used is that of a "Darwinian population," a collection of things with the capacity to undergo change by natural selection. From this starting point, new analyses of the role of genes in evolution, the application of Darwinian ideas to cultural change, and "evolutionary transitions" that produce complex organisms and societies are developed. Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection will be essential reading for anyone interested in evolutionary theory